Welcome to season two, Teen Wolf fans! After a long wait, our core cast of characters is back – stronger, more grown up and more battle ready. Oh, and they’re still ridiculously hot (Colton Haynes = swoon).
Let’s dig in to part one of the two part opener, ‘Omega’.
One of my favourite things about Teen Wolf is its precarious balance of cheesiness and genre conventions. This is a show that trades on a lot of the goodwill established by other “horror high school” shows like Buffy and The Vampire Diaries. If we’re being honest, Teen Wolf isn’t breaking a lot of new ground, but the ground that it covers, it covers well. One of the reasons that it became such an out of the box hit for MTV last summer was because it wasn’t afraid to poke fun at itself, to embrace the benefits of having a ridonkulously hot cast and telling a fast paced yarn. There’s a lot going for the show, and it seems that over the break since S1 concluded, they’ve ironed out some of the kinks to make the show even stronger.
That means a deeper mythology (even the abbreviated introduction of the titular ‘Omega’ expands on the structure of the wolf pack lifestyle), new characters (welcome to the fold Grandpa Slayer!) and new roles for established characters (you might want to get those black nose and earbleeds looked at, Jackson). At its core, though, Teen Wolf remains a show about a star-crossed romance between Scott (Tyler Posey, whose acting is slightly improved) and Allison (Crystal Reed, whose hair is slightly worst). This is how the show succeeds: it’s a great balance between men being sliced in half in the forest and Scott and Allison getting nekkid and hiding from her mom. Everyone wins!
If the show does have its drawbacks, it is that it routinely pounds logic and reason into the ground. I’m all for the suspension of disbelief, but lazy scenes like the one where Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) and Scott escape from the backseat of the Sheriff’s cruiser to investigate an attack on an ambulance? Stupid! We all know that the back of a police cruiser can’t be opened from the inside, and why is it suddenly dark when they arrive at the crime scene? What did they do – trek through the woods for the better part of a day? It’s little discrepancies like this that make the show more frustrating than it should ever be. Sure we’re all watching to see people wolf out, run through the woods on all fours, or emerge from the river in a tight white t-shirt, but we’re also not looking to have our intelligence insulted in the process.
Hopefully Teen Wolf can limit these kind of instances so that we can get back to focusing on what the show does well, which – as a summer distraction for the MTV fanbase – is quite a bit. Stiles is funny, the girls and Jackson are hot and watching Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) glower through his scenes like someone is continually peeing on his leg is amusing. With the addition of Battlestar: Galactica vet Michael Hogan as Allison’s take-no-prisoners grandfather, this is apt to be my most anticipated guilty pleasure show of the summer. Wolf out!
- Speaking of illogical sequences, anyone care to guess how long Chemistry teacher Mr. Harris would last in a real teaching institution? I’m pretty sure that telling a student that they “[trigger] the only impulse I’ve ever had to strike a student repeatedly and violently” would be grounds for dismissal. Last season I was convinced this creep was the Alpha, but there’s got to be more to him than questionable teaching, right? Dude has a screw loose.
- Anyone else talk back to the TV during Lydia’s (Holland Roden) shower scene? Excerpt from my notes: “Yo, b*tch, check out your dirty stank water in the tub!” As the water turns black and she pulls hair from the drain: “Yeah that sh*t’s nasty.” These comments suggest two things: 1) Teen Wolf doesn’t want anyone ever to shower again and 2) I have a proclivity for taking notes in gangsta-rap
- As Morgan Glennon notes on ‘Have You Heard’, how hilarious is it that they managed to get nearly their entire cast either partially or fully naked in the first ten minutes? Clearly this is a show that knows its target audience (I’m sure that airing the premiere after the raciness of the MTV Movie Awards doesn’t hurt). In all seriousness, though, how many people are watching this show for the frequent nudity and subtle homoerotic tones (I’m looking at you Jackson and Derek!)? It’s like True Blood Babies or something.
- Also…slow-mo does not always mean dramatic, nor does it need to be overused. Jackson coming out the water should always be in slow-motion. Grandpa walking to the funeral seems like overkill. Write this down: Michael Hogan makes things badass, not the slow motion.
- Tyler Posey doesn’t always nail his comedic or dramatic notes (comedy about being caught in the hunter’s trap = fail), but the image of him with his head sticking out the window, following Lydia’s trail like a dog = gold.
- Even though she was a special brand of nutjob, I kindasorta liked Kate and I already miss her. Grandpa Argent looks like he’s going to be even more hardcore, so that’s a nice consolation prize. What shall we make of our two very awkwardly introduced new teen characters, though? I’m a little unsure about either of them, especially since I can’t even remember what their names are. I believe Isaac Lehey is the graveyard employee who’s working really terrible hours if he’s still in high school, while the other guy is the oldest looking student photographer evah. I’m sure we’ll get to learn more about these two (unless they’re wolf chow), but for now neither guy left much of an impression. Blah
That’s it for the premiere. Do you think we should be worried about Jackson’s black bleeding problem, or the fact that Derek looks ready to initiate him in true David DeCoteau style? (Google it – I’ll wait). If Lydia isn’t transitioning, what has she been doing naked in the woods all this time? And how dumb do Scott and Allison think everyone is considering they’re hiding their ongoing affair with as little effort as possible? Sound off below!
There’s another new episode tonight as Teen Wolf takes over its regular Monday at 10pm EST timeslot on MTV, so be sure to tune back in! Update: Our recap of 2×02 is here.